Online Misinformation Went Down Dramatically After Trump Banned From Twitter, Facebook

Daniel Fowler
January 18, 2021

US President Donald Trump, whose Facebook and Instagram accounts were previously suspended "indefinitely", gained social media accounts. Zignal's research confirmed the view of many experts that Trump and his allies had created via social media what the Washington Post calls "a powerful, integrated disinformation ecosystem" that was central to pushing millions of Americans to reject the election results.

In the meantime, a research by the Election Integrity Partnership (launched earlier than the 2020 US election) discovered {that a} group of 20 extensively adopted pro-Trump Twitter accounts - together with Trump's and Sean Hannity's - accounted for 20% of retweets about voting misinformation, per the Washington Publish report.

Final Wednesday, Trump returned to Twitter in a video posted by way of the official @POTUS account, complaining that his deplatforming by Twitter and others was an "unprecedented assault on free speech", however he'll not have entry to that account as of January 20 with president-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Enough time has since passed to measure the early impact of Trump's lifetime ban from the social media platform.

Conversations around election fraud began long before Election Day with Trump preemptively questioning the validity of mail-in votes, then the integrity of ballot machines and election officials. Many of his tweets went viral ahead of the election.

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First, social media sites tried to flag viral misinformation shared by Trump.

Prior to his suspension, Trump was incredibly active on Twitter as he continued to claim that he won the election and that the Democrats committed fraud.

Donald Trump posted quite aggressively saying that votes were stolen in the U.S. and supporters should fight. "We wait and take orders from our president".

After the Capitol riot, Trump was suspended by Facebook.

As a passionate advocate of freedom of speech who believes that the best way to counter speech you don't like is with more speech, I fully defend the free exchange of ideas.

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